Specialized advices

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  06 June 2014
Specialized advices

Hi Everyone!

My name is …van and I'm currently studying Digital Modeling in Canada. Iíd rather mention it right now, this post is quite long, but you'll understand why as you read it. It contains some dark and rude parts that can be hard to read for some people. Iíll start with a short introduction of myself: I am a 23 years old man who is learning Digital modeling by himself at home. I've built a program that I should complete in about 1 year or a year and a half. I'm doing at least 40h of studying every week. I've gathered many tutorials, resources, and as many books as I can. I also have a Degree in Graphic design.

I was born in a little countryside, where the nearest neighbors were miles away. There was nothing to do except to work on the farm and doing physical jobs. For my parents, art was not a job, going to university was a waste of time; the only thing that mattered was to work. Emotions were for weak people, and tasks were never done quickly enough. No task was made good enough for them and that completely destroyed my self-esteem and my trust in myself. As a child, I've always been working under high pressure, with extremely stressful conditions and short deadlines for the tasks I had to do on the farm. I wasnít feeling pain, I wasnít feeling anything, I was working without any interruption, even when my body or my head hurts, I was working until I went unconscious. During all my childhood I was silent. I was suffering inside, and I couldnít talk to anyone or express any emotion, by fear of being criticized and judged by my parents. I've been bullied at school because my clothes were bearing the scent of the farm. They picked on me because I was different, because I was wearing a poker face. I was never reacting and didnít know how to interact with people. For years, Iíve been a highly depressed and anxious person and Iíve also been diagnosed last year with an ADD problem. I fell into the hell of MMORPG addiction; because it was the only place where I wasnít feeling rejected or judged. At last, I became a suicidal person and I'm not kidding on the word, I've been very close to pass the rope around my neck when I was 19. I established a plan and I was waiting for the good day to execute it. Nobody knew that I felt so bad. By chance, just before I jumped off the cliff, someone has been able to see trough the walls I built around me. He understood me and took my hand to help me get out of this situation. Ever since that day, that man is still my best friend, he never lets me down. He is an artist, and he showed me how to express myself trough art. He literally saved my life and changed my future.

After years of therapy, with the help of my new friend and by testing different medicines, Iím finally away from all those problems; I can finally breathe some fresh air and really feel happiness. Can you imagine that I was disconnected from my emotions, from my heart and my feelings for so many years that I was unable to tell which was my favorite color because I didnít even knew what it was? Now, after a lot of exploration, among the long list of artistic jobs and different domains, 3D modeling is my final choice. Iíll always remember the first time I finished a 3D model: my mind was blown away and at this exact moment, I felt that it was finally the right job for me. Iím not someone who just wants to be a modeller because itís cool or funny, Iím someone who wants to be a great modeller because Iím passionate about it. I feel like a kid opening a new Christmas gift every time I found a useful feature or technique to enhance my workflow. I want to gather as many resources as I can, spend every dollar, every hour of the day learning some lessons and practicing my real passion. I now understand what living really means. I really want to feel my passion, to live a good life because Iíve suffered enough in the past. That's why I'm spending the most possible time on Digital Modeling, to be able to one day get a job as a modeller. I donít want you to see me as the guy who is trying to have some charity or to get pity, I just want to tell you the truth about me and the reasons why Iím taking Modeling so emotionally.

I'm already working with my weekly schedule since a couple of months and it's going very well. I'm trying to find enough money to take as much courses as I can on CgSociety and others. I will do everything I can to make my dream come true and maybe one day Iíll be recognized as a great modeller. Hereís a quick recap of what my 40h per week program is made of: I am working on 3DS Max, Photoshop, ZBrush, doing Art exploration, Clay Sculpting, Drawing(Digital and traditional), lots of book reading (Color Theory, light, shadow, workflow, pipeline, art fundamental, art history and more) and others. At first, I was focusing more on learning Max, but after a while, I realized that it was important to balance Software and Art: learning a software by heart is good but if I donít also grow my art style and knowledge, Iíll be nothing but a poor artist. That's why Iím including lots of Art history and exploration in my program.

The reason why I'm writing this today is to find someone, a mentor, a coach. I want to find someone who could give me advices through my learning progression. For sure, Iím taking a lot of course and follow lots of video tutorials but they can't tell me what Iím doing wrong or what I should focus on. It's kind of hard to be the only judge of my own work when Iím learning something new. I'm actually at a point where Iím learning to sculpt Cartoon characters and I love it. I would appreciate to have someone who could give me for example an hour of live screen sharing with a microphone. I could show them some problems I encounter and have a direct personalized training. I have many questions like: am I drawing right, when will I be great enough as a drawer to start texturing or doing character concept, what are the classic books every modeller should read? These are just example of many questions I have and can't find any answers on the internet because it's impersonalized. I would like to know which books I should read to improve myself on X or Y subjects etc. I think you guys can surely understand. For sure, I can pay if someone experienced would be interested in having weekly live sessions with me to help me reach my goal. I just feel so lost sometimes. Iím really looking for someone to give me the pat on the back that I need to continue when I get stuck. I just feel so lonely in what Iím doing, given the fact that I donít know anyone who does the same work around me. Sometimes I panic because Iím wondering if I should do X or Y, and it's hard to handle that kind of ''not knowing where to go next'' pressure. Another example is about the Wacom, I have the money to buy a Cintiq 22HD but again, Iím the only judge for myself and I canít decide whether itís worth it or not. Iím struggling a bit when working with an Intuos, with my eyes on the screen and not on the pen.

I know you guys are surely very busy but if you donít have enough time to give me lessons, I would appreciate any advice from anyone and consider them as gold. For example, I would like to get information about a learning path to follow, some tips about what to focus on or what to avoid etc. If by any chance you have some resource to suggest, like books or tutorials, I would take your suggestions with great pleasure.

With all my respect and admiration for all you guys, and again, Iím sorry for the long message. I wish you all a lot of success in life and career.

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